More and more consumers are turning to vegan hair and beauty products, according to industry experts.
According to Goldman Sachs, millennials (15 – 34 year-olds) make up 42% of the 3.5 million British vegans.
Vegan certification means that products and their ingredients have not been tested on animals and are free from any kind of animal extract.
On the eve of World Vegan Day, Passion4Hair held a discussion about veganism in the beauty industry, as products have soared by 38% in the past 12 months.
Debbie Digby, founder of Passion4Hair, said: “The vegan category is exploding today as it’s not just about being a vegan, it’s about finding new ways forward as well, to be healthier and live in a better world.”
But Debbie warned that people will only make the switch if the products don’t lose quality.
She said: “One of the important things for a product to focus on is that it does what it’s supposed to do – one of the things holding the industry back is how they take out ingredients which are derived from animals and replicate them with ingredients that still allow performance.
“If somebody buys a product and it doesn’t do what it says, you have ruined your brand.
“There is a lot of desire to move forward to natural and ethical products – we will see an increase in the beauty sector for these.”
Debbie also suggested that customers should be told openly about the extra cost involved in using vegan ingredients.
She explained: “They have to be grown, harvested and ethically processed so you can use them as compounds in your products – if that’s what we want to do, we have to accept it’s going to cost more to manufacture and more to buy.
“The more we are open about that, the more people will say, ‘I get it now’.
“I think we are at the beginning of an enormous change in the way we eat, live, buy and consume products, clothes – everything.”
Pinterest reported a 281% increase in searches for vegan beauty in 2017 – but just 6% of product launches in 2017 were vegan-certified.
Rose Brown, founder of PHB Ethical Beauty, explained that rendering is the process where animal products are turned into usable materials – which are bought by the cosmetic industry.
She said: “People weren’t aware of this or asking questions, but now that’s changing and people are starting to want to know where things have come from.
“There’s this whole awakening, it’s not just cruelty-free, it’s wanting the ingredients in the product itself.”